Tuesday, June 2, 2015

First Derby at Novice

Born to shine on the center line.
I wasn't nearly as nervous for my derby this year as I was for the same derby at cross rails last year. I could feel my legs and arms and face. Don't get me wrong, I was still nervous, but I felt more controlled. Blake and I got up early to make sure we wouldn't miss Aimee and Papa (Courage) and Linds and Prisoner. I got to enjoy watching their beautiful rides and then I went to tack up my super sleepy pony.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

Trying to be fancy.
I need to look up, dangit.
I think the weekend had tired my pony out, and I told her she was almost done. I was so sore and fatigued, but it was just one more day. Of course, I forgot to grab my number and inhaler, but thankfully I have a good husband and friends who look out for me. We tried to warm up, but I was super flustered with all of the other riders and a sticky horse. Aimee lent me her spurs, and I suddenly had a more awake horse. I haven't ridden her with spurs since the first couple of months I owned her, and I didn't actually use them. I tried to keep the warm up easy and before I knew it, I was going down center line.
At least my outfit is classy.

Stretch little Bacon.

Damn left lead.
Bacon had a trailing hind end the first quarter of the test, but she got better as she went. I was not nearly as forward as I was with her during our dressage schooling show. I am going to chalk that up to nerves. She is still having a hard time bending and being comfortable going left and went around more above the vertical than I would have liked. I think more bodywork is in order. But we still had notes with "good bend in corners" and even a "round circle" comment. Which is a first. And again, we got on the incorrect lead for our left circle.
Bacon would rather do the right lead, thanks.
I was trying really hard to remember to be relaxed and breathe. Half of the time I was busy just trying to relax my breathing and body and then I would remember to widen my hands and push her into my leg. Despite feeling rather sloppy out there, we still got a 34. Someday, we will get our leads correct from the bat and have an even better score! But I was happy with that.

I watched my friends go out on the xc/trail ride for Aimee course and was taking my sweet time. I was scrambling to get everything ready when tacking up, and then had to pee, and then and then and then....I was just not prepared. And all of the sudden, when I walked into the warm up area, I was informed that I was the next rider. OH DEAR GOD. WHOOPS. Sorry Bacon! We made a quick lap around the field, jumped a xrail and the tiny vertical, took a hit off of my inhaler, and off I went. No time to think, just go.
Silly vertical, you are in our way.
Our first  jump was the one and only show jump on the course. I wanted a good pace right from the start, so we set off and went over the vertical. Next was a ramp like jump directly ahead, and Bacon was already locked on. Over we went, with a somewhat sharp turn to a rolltop and then a weird path (made weird by my ride) to another fancy log roll top. It was a left hander to a jump we hadn't rode over yet, a log/barrel type thing down a slight hill. I was worried about it, but I sat up and kicked and it was no bid deal. Bacon was on a mission, and that mission was to go over anything I pointed her at and to have a good time.
Maybe my favorite pic from the show. I am pleased with my position.

Weeeee roll top!

Ain't no thang.
We blasted through the water and then over the little ditch. I thought she might look at the ditch, I thought wrong. Over the hanging log for obstacle 8, and then around the edge of the field to a coop. I thought we had a nice pace and cruised around over to another ramp. Bacon scooted in pleasure and glee after it and we made our way over the cabin to the biggest ramp. Again, I thought she would look at it, and the most she did was flick an ear back to me and I encouraged her with a "let's go!" and it was easy. Over the barrels jump and into the next field we went.
Sitting up, leg on, holding on.

Oh, ok, not scary.

Making this ditch her bitch.

Logs will not stop a Bacon.
Last two jumps on course were a large coopy thing we hadn't jumped yet and the FLOWER JUMP, the jump I have been oh so wanting to jump since I saw it last year. There was no stopping my pony. Over the coop and straight to the flowers. I had my leg on and sat up but all I had to do was hang on. The flower jump was so fun, and we galloped to our little finish line right in front of us. It was sooooooo much fun. No jump felt awkward. Everything was great, in spite of our super short and flustered warm up.
You dumb.
Right before we went for a little scoot.
Outfit is just so good.
Whatever ramp, get out of our way.
I hurried to the shade on her though, because I was super out of breath and very hot. My friends came over and watered me. Bacon stood still, but was still in beast mode and thought she might pretend to bite Lindsey when she came over. What are you smoking horse? She had herself a good time out there. Eventually I put her away and went to see where we had finished. Novice was split, so we ended 4th out of 4. I don't even care because I made it through the weekend and had a great time. Overall, I would have been 8th out of 15, so that's not too shabby. There were some nice horses with us, and only one had any faults on xc. Someday we will be better at dressage. At least we looked great!
She looked at those barrels the day before. It was not so that day.
Almost done!
Ears locked on target. Initiate beast mode.


  1. That purple is on fleek. I am in love. Congrats on your finish!

  2. You may have gotten fourth, but you win best dressed. Totally solid xc pics too!

  3. You guys look great out there - that outfit is totally fabulous. Good girl, Bacon!

  4. Sounds like a ton of fun and a lot like events with Steady. Just makes it so fun when they eat up xc.

  5. What a fantastic ride!! You totally have a California contingent of the Bacon Fan Club. My BRF and I LOOOOVE her!!!!

  6. You and Bacon rock! I also love your favorite picture. Your position is fabulous.

  7. So much to say about this post!
    First, I LOVE your outfit, purple is definitely your (and Bacon's) color! And, ADE FTW :)
    I'm also very pleased with your position....in fact, I'm uber jealous of your position. I think you look really great, and I love you and Bacon together! You are such a great team! Congratulations on having a great horsey weekend, for rocking the Novice course and for getting some wonderful pictures. Keep it going!!

  8. You and Bacon look FABULOUS!! Your position is freakin' awesome and Bacon looks like she is having a blast. Keep it up girl!

  9. You guys look incredible! I love the beast mode photo of her in the arena! Also, can I please have your position?

  10. So glad you had a good time and Bacon looks THRILLED on course!! :D

  11. My only comment on the whole thing is that a custom colored vest would 100% perfect that outfit. You guys are so amazing.

  12. woooo hooo you guys look fabulous!! and that one ramp is HUUUUUUGE haha. Bacon makes it look so easy tho - major congrats!

  13. You two are badass AND wearing purple=awesome. End of story.

  14. Your outfits are fabulous! You two look great :)

  15. Great pictures, great outfit great ride! Congrats!